Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

Welcome to The Goldbergs: Episode XXII

“Sunday Matinee: It’s like wearing someone else’s wedding dress”

Spoiler Alert: This post contains scenes and content from the May 6, 2014 episode of The Goldbergs

As Adam’s quote above clearly explains, seeing the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on opening night became the pinnacle of his existence. And, as all good younger brothers do when they’re in a life-altering quandary (speaking from personal experience here), Adam blackmailed his older sister into waiting with him in line to see this new epic space tale on the silver screen at the local theater.

Obvious success, right?

Think again.

A long line + a long time waiting (Forrest Gump-level soda’s consumed by the excited Adam) + sitting in between a 46 year-old man with a talking Yoda puppet and another grown man sitting on a life-size Tauntaun (no joke) + Erica’s friend walking by with two “cool” guys not into Star Wars = an epic betrayal and two cinnamon rolls/swirly muffins.

We’ll come back to this brother-sister equation a little later.

In the meantime, middle child Barry was busy embracing all things Hulk Hogan (as we all do). Unbeknownst to Barry though, the WWF wasn’t real. After several (yes, it took several) warnings that slamming your opponent over the head with a folded chair was not a legitimate aspect of real wrestling, Barry was training to do whatever it took to impress his crush. For him, this meant earning a varsity jacket. Hilariously, the only person standing in his way was his over-protective mother Beverly Goldberg with her countless stories of fellow teenage boys who all seemed to have tragic mishaps with absolutely everything she didn’t want her son to do.

The stories were totally believable, though. I mean, we’ve all seen a mom carrying the head of her son around the grocery store with her son’s vital organs perfectly functioning from his neck after a freak wrestling accident, right?

Okay, maybe Murray had a point about that one…

Growing up with siblings, there are those special moments that arrive with all the excitement and fanfare of a new Star Wars movie: the instance(s) when an older sister just might become a friend. It’s as rare as holding a real-life lightsaber and it should be treated with as much precision and ecstatic jubilation as waving Luke’s trusted sword made of blue light. This moment occurs during the older sister’s teenage years, which can be difficult because this is when she’s trying to leave behind childish indulgences. This includes dressing up like Princess Leia and battling her then much younger brother dressed as Darth Vader in their basement recorded on VHS (ie-Adam’s winning bargaining chip). As this sitcom does so perfectly, this plot line really hit home for me. My two older sisters and I used to build forts and act goofy all the time in our younger days before the necessity to be “cool” became the undisputed priority of all things important.

For me, it wasn’t Star Wars, but a compendium of events with my two older sisters: It was riding bikes to UDF for ice cream during the summer, playing football with one of my older sister’s friends one Saturday, learning clever and edgy jokes while sitting in an Asian airport while on a family vacation, being “kidnapped” by my sister and her friends for my birthday, trick-or-treating with my sister and her friends, visiting both of them at college and laughing at old-style SNL humor found in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2.

The relationship between siblings is fascinating and special to say the least, partly because the seemingly unfiltered honesty. We can be blunt with comedic “burns” and it works somehow. We can blackmail our older sister with pictures during her first boy-girl party ($5 a pop!). A comfort level and understanding grows between brother and sister(s), even to the point when Erica finally realizes that after bailing on her younger brother to spend time with her cool friends while he went to the bathroom and therefore lost his place in line, she knew the real reason why Adam coaxed her to seeing Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi with him: the hope for sibling friendship.

Cognizant of her little brother’s sincere motivation, Erica did the unthinkable: she dressed up like Princess Leia (again), fully equipped with cinnamon rolls/swirly muffins on her ears and bribed an usher with a date at the local theater to sneak them into Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi!

“Star Wars: It gave us lightsabers, the force and Billy Dee Williams in a cape.” 

And a fun day at the movies between brother and sister.

At school, Barry heeded the wrestling advice of his dad Murray. After suffering defeat on the mat to his mother in front of everybody (don’t mess with Thunder Bev!), he embraced his WWF character (also named Barry from Philadelphia) and dominated his opponent with the support of his family looking on with pride.


As his crush looked on with smiling approval, Barry messed that moment up like only Barry could, which led to a halted chair-over-the-head of his opponent finale.

But don’t worry, Big Tasty will be surely be back for another round…       

The Goldbergs: Return of the Family.